Congolese volcano leaves smoldering debris, but major cities are generous


Goma — A lava flue from a volcanic eruption covered hundreds of homes in eastern Congo on Sunday, stopping just before the main city of Goma, but residents stared at the wreckage.

On Saturday night, Mount Nyiragongo erupted, the night sky turned eerie red, and orange lava walls were sent downhill towards the lakeside town of about 2 million people, causing sesame to panic. Thousands fled on foot with their belongings, some to the border near Rwanda.

Congo volcano
On May 22, 2021, the eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo in Sesame, Democratic Republic of the Congo, can be seen in two silhouettes with a red night sky. (Justin Kabumba / AP Photo)

As the sun rose on Sunday, we saw a smoldering black rift in the suburbs of sesame, where lava had cooled to rubble. At one point it was three stories high, swallowing even a large building and sending smoke into the gray morning sky.

Residents of the Buhene district sorted out the wreckage of broken white tin roofs and lifted rocks. This is a small personal effort in a one-month campaign to restore the zone. Elsewhere, a group of people took pictures of steamed lava.

It was not immediately clear if someone died or how widespread the property damage was.

“I hope this will end soon, and it has ended with the grace of God,” said one person living in Kibati, about 15 km (9 miles) north of Goma.

People run away with their belongings
After the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on May 22, 2021, people fled with their belongings. (Justin Kabumba / AP Photo)

The last eruption of Nyiragongo in 2002 killed 250 people and left 120,000 homeless. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes. The eruption on Saturday seems to have been triggered when a fissure opened on the side of the volcano and lava flowed in various directions.

Untouched airport

According to one Reuters reporter, the flow to sesame stopped hundreds of meters away from the city’s borders. The nearby airport was untouched.

Another lava flow heading east to Rwanda on a sparsely populated terrain has also stopped, according to reporters.

The lava crossed the main road from sesame and cut if separated from the northern city. Traffic jams occurred almost everywhere as people tried to get in and out to assess the damage to their homes.

“Local governments watching the eruption all night report that the lava flow has lost strength,” government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said on Twitter on Sunday.

Lava flowing from a volcanic eruption
The aerial photograph shows lava flowing from the volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo near Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on May 22, 2021. (Distribution via UN Organization Stabilization Mission / Reuters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Experts were worried that the volcanic activity observed in Nyiragongo over the past five years reflected the volcanic activity of the years prior to the 1977 and 2002 eruptions.

OVG volcanologists watching Mount Nyiragongo have struggled to perform basic checks on a regular basis since the World Bank cut funds on suspicion of embezzlement, but experts have said the eruption. He said it was impossible to predict the timing of.

Dario Tedesco, a sesame-based volcanologist, said: “From the little information we have, all that came out was the lava in the crater, no additional lava from below.”

By Djafar Al Katanty and Olivia Acland

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